Become RN Nurse in Alabama + Requirements & Licensing
| NurseJournal Staff
ENTRY LEVEL PRACTICE NURSESBecoming licensed as a Registered Nurse in Alabama has three stages, getting the education, passing the NCLEX-RN exam, and getting licensure from the state of Alabama Board of Nursing. See 6 Things to Know About the NCLEX Examination and How to Master NCLEX-Style Test Questions.
STAGE 1. COMPLETE AN APPROVED NURSING PROGRAMGraduating from an approved and accredited nursing program is required. There are several options: Alabama Board of Nursing is here. A list of programs that have provisional approval is here.
STAGE 2. PASS THE NCLEX-RNEvery prospective nurse must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, or NCLEX-RN before obtaining a license. The Board has videos available on the website to explain the process of taking the exam. Signing up and taking the exam is an multi-step process that covers:
- Receiving an Authorization to Test, or ATT
- Presenting the right identification
- Taking the exam
STAGE 3. OBTAIN A LICENSEIf you are already licensed as an RN in the U.S., all you need to do is apply for an endorsement by submitting an application, available here. Supplemental materials are required, which must be mailed to the Board:
- Verification of license
- Continuing education proof (faxed or mailed)
ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSESAdvanced Practice Nurses in Alabama are licensed by the state after completed a master’s degree in nursing, a MS or MSN; or a doctorate, a DNSc, DNP or PhD; and become board certified. All APNs are professional registered nurses, commonly called RN, but only one with an advanced degree and the appropriate clinical training is an APN. Categories and Approval Advanced Practice Nurses in Alabama work in four categories:
- Certified Nurse Midwife, or CNM
- Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner, or CRNP
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, or CRNA
- Clinical Nurse Specialist, or CNS
Three Stages for APN CertificationAfter completing all the requirements and receiving your RN licensure in the state of Alabama, you need to go through three stages in order to become certified to work as an APN in Alabama.
Stage 1. OBTAIN A Graduate DegreeYour degree must have these qualifications:
- recognized by the Alabama Board of Nursing
- accredited by an the U.S. Department of Education or the Council of Higher Education Accreditation
STAGE 2. NATIONAL CERTIFICATIONAfter receiving your graduate degree, you need national certification in the specialty of Advanced Practice Nursing that you want to work. Each specialty has its own certification requirements and exams. These are the four categories that the the Alabama Board of Nursing recognizes and their corresponding national certification programs: Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP)
- American Nurses Credentialing Center
- American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
- American Association of Critical Care Nurses
- National Certification Corporation
- Pediatric Nurse Certification Board
- American Nurses Credentialing Center
- American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
- Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation
- Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board
STAGE 3. APPLY FOR YOUR CERTIFICATEYou must apply for a certificate before you can start to practice your APN specialty. You must renew your certification every two years. Here is the process to start the process to get your certificate:
- Go to the Alabama Board of Nursing’s online application program (CRNP, CNM, CRNA, CNS).
- Pay an approval fee of $150.
- Fill out the online application.
- Make a note which documentation the system requests that you mail in, based on your specialty.
- Have all colleges you attended for your graduate degree for APN send sealed, official college transcripts to the Alabama Board of Nursing.
- Have your national certifying agency send the Alabama Board a copy of your national certification.
- Complete the Application to Add or Change Collaborative Practice. Have the physician you are collaborating with sign it and send it with a $50 fee to the Board.
- Have all colleges you attended to earn your graduate degree send sealed, official college transcripts to the Alabama Board of Nursing
- Have the national certifying agency send a copy of your current national certification to the Board
- You can renew online every two years, but certain types of documents must be mailed to the Alabama Board of Nursing to complete the process.
- Transcripts and other documentation for 24 contact hours of approved continuing education
- If your certification has expired, you can request reinstatement online.
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